Posted on: 11.01.2023 Posted by: Редакция Comments: 0

Looking for ways to save money on your house renovation? Searching for a simpler solution for the cabinets you use daily? Fortunately, there are many options if you don’t want to go with traditional, expensive kitchen cabinets.

Cheap alternatives to kitchen cabinets are floating shelves: they are stylish and provide easy access to your dishes. Wall shelves are also an affordable, trendy option for hanging your cups or cookware. You can also save money by choosing open cabinets without doors.

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to replace your upper or lower cabinets or just your cabinet doors, continue reading to discover more than 17 affordable options.

Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinet Doors

A cost-effective way to renovate your kitchen without completely replacing your cabinets is to only change the doors. Let’s take a look at some of the best alternatives to kitchen cabinet doors.

No Doors at All

A current trend in home decor is minimalism. This interior design style reduces all things in your home to the essentials. You decide what is important to you and your family. Maybe the rooster-shaped oven mitts and the matching chicken salt and pepper shakers are essential for you.

There are no hard and fast rules for the number of things that can be placed in a room, but “less is more” is the general attitude. If the rooster/chicken knick-knack set is essential to your lifestyle, maybe the fake grapes on your cabinets can disappear. The idea is to determine what truly adds value to your life and get rid of everything else.

So, what does this have to do with cabinets? Well, minimalism is primarily about creating space for the things you love, which tends to favor open, airy spaces. You don’t have to tear down a wall in your kitchen, although that lets in more light. You can make your kitchen appear larger by completely removing the cabinet doors.

This not only removes the physical barriers in your kitchen, but it also allows you to appreciate the glasses and dishes you have collected in your life – things that, according to minimalist thinking, should also have value or meaning.

If you are looking for the most cost-effective alternative to kitchen cabinet doors, no door at all is your answer.

Barn Sliding Doors

If your kitchen cabinet doors are in poor condition, you can replace them with sliding doors. These are wooden boards in a rustic style that are mounted on rollers and can be easily slid back and forth along a track.

For a better demonstration of these doors, watch the YouTube video below:

Cabinet doors in this style are perfect for a cabinet with two doors, as you can cover half of the shelves and keep half exposed. When you need to access the hidden shelves, simply slide the door temporarily to the side for easy access.

Showcase your more aesthetically pleasing dishes and hide your mismatched plates behind the barn door. Barn sliding doors are also great for those prone to bumping their head on cabinet doors, as they never swing open outward.


In the first half of the 20th century, people often used sink skirts to hide the pipes under a pedestal sink. They also created some kind of soft-walled storage space to place cleaning supplies and towels. You can use the same vintage technique under your kitchen sink or on any kitchen cabinet!

You can find used curtains for next to nothing at your local thrift store. Floral-patterned bed sheets on a cheap curtain rod will give your home a rustic cottage touch and provide quick access to your dishes and glasses. Vertical striped curtains make your kitchen appear taller, and red and orange patterns always add a retro flair.

Wire Grid

If you have some kitchen cabinet doors that are damaged but still salvageable, you have the option to convert those existing doors into a different style. By removing the insert wood in your cabinet doors, you create the opportunity for a facelift. You can replace this flat piece of wood with any type of wire grid to create a cozy cabinet door in a peep-show style for your kitchen cabinets.

Any thin metals, from chicken wire to garden lattice, can be used for this purpose, and you can easily spray paint the surface of the material in your preferred color if you don’t like the silver finish.

Reclaimed Shutters

Another affordable replacement for kitchen cabinet doors is reclaimed wood shutters. If you have any old wooden shutters or folding closet doors lying around, you can add some hinges to make a new cabinet door in a matter of minutes.

If you don’t have any shutters lying around, you can often find them cheaply in antique furniture stores or for free on public websites like Craigslist. All they need is a quick sanding and a fresh coat of paint, and you have custom cabinet doors in no time!

Repurposed Glass

Like with wire mesh, you can replace the back of your cabinet doors with a glass panel from an old window. Use a stained glass piece to give your kitchen a traditional flair, or keep it modern with a crystal-clear piece of glass. You can find these glass panels at thrift stores or vintage furniture shops.

Alternatives to Lower Kitchen Cabinets

There are so many different options for lowering kitchen cabinets that it seems boring to stick with the basic swing-door. Let’s take a look at some of these creative solutions.


Have you ever done your spring cleaning and found a forgotten box of cereal at the back of a lower cabinet? It was hiding under the bottom shelf in an area you can never properly see.

You can completely eliminate these hidden corners by opting for drawers instead of shelves in your lower cabinets. Pull-out drawers provide plenty of storage space while eliminating those sneaky hidden corners where cans of tomatoes gather to expire.

Repurposed Crates

A simple solution for expensive lower kitchen cabinets is to stack repurposed crates under the countertops. These stacked crates create open storage space throughout the lower level of the kitchen, allowing you to display all your cast-iron pans. The crates are also often wider than an average kitchen cabinet, and you won’t be limited by vertical wooden slats running between closed cabinet doors.

This type of open storage also allows you to creatively store and reorganize your kitchen utensils. You can color-coordinate your cans, transfer baking ingredients into mason jars, or simply admire your favorite snacks every time you enter the kitchen.

A Hutch

For the ultimate reuse, you can replace your lower kitchen cabinets and countertops with a hutch. These pieces of furniture provide plenty of storage space for pots, pans, dry goods, or whatever you need. You can repaint a vintage sideboard to match a more modern design, or you can sand and stain a hutch to match any transitional or industrial decor.

What’s great about using a hutch as a substitute for lower cabinets in your kitchen is that you can also install a cooking surface in your kitchen. While many storage solutions require existing countertops for working, a hutch includes a countertop in its installation. If your sideboard is higher than a standard countertop height, you can use it as a coffee and tea station instead of a mixing and chopping board.

Open Shelves with Baskets

A very cost-effective way to replace lower cabinets in your kitchen is to install open or floating shelves. As mentioned with the repurposed crates, open shelves showcase all your cookware and dry goods. Not everyone is organized enough to have their pots and pans on visible display, so there are other solutions.

Floating shelves are a great base for many designs throughout the home. They are so versatile that their minimalist style can be customized to any design and need. As with lower storage in your kitchen, you can use baskets to organize the open shelves.

Wicker baskets are lightweight and easily slide out from floating shelves to transport your stored items to the countertop for easy access. You can store all your dried herbs and spices in one basket and place it on the counter when you start cooking. Another basket can hold your baking ingredients, so all items are in one place when you decide on a spontaneous pancake breakfast.

Use baskets to hide some of your messy items and leave open spots on the shelves that you can showcase any bowls or vases you’re proud of!

Floating Shelves with Sliding Doors

Another solution for lower shelves is sliding doors. We mentioned some of the benefits of the barn door cabinet above, but they are even more effective for lower cabinets. A cabinet door that slides from side to side instead of swinging open outward will save you many bruised knees and stubbed toes throughout the life of your kitchen.

By combining the barn sliding door with floating shelves, you can also showcase some of your stored items. Unlike upper cabinets that are often interrupted by windows and oven ventilation, with lower cabinets, you can incorporate a continuous frame for the swing doors and hang one, two, or three doors separately as desired.

The continuous bar allows for a seamless track for the doors to slide all the way to the left, right, or separately, as you see fit. Regularly keep two doors under your kitchen sink for a standard cabinet finish and simply slide them out of the way when you need to grab the rubber gloves or a fresh sponge.


It seems like we have an excess of bookshelves in the world, as someone you know is always trying to give one away. If your friend asks again if you want their heavy oak bookshelf, tell them you’ll take it off their hands.

Smaller bookshelves up to a meter in height fit perfectly under your kitchen countertop. Deep bookshelves are best, as they provide the most storage space. Heavier wooden pieces can be a headache to move, but once they are in place in your kitchen, they will last much longer and withstand the weight of your cookware better.

You can also combine a bookshelf with many different elements on this list. Place a vintage curtain in front of the half of the shelf that holds the sweets or scatter a few baskets to implement easy storage solutions.

Alternatives to Upper Kitchen Cabinets

You can easily replace lower cabinets with prefabricated storage options like bookshelves and chest. But what options do you have to replace your upper kitchen cabinets that need to be mounted on the wall? Let’s discuss six affordable ways to install floor-to-ceiling storage in your kitchen.

Floating Shelves

These airy illusionists appear to float next to the wall concealed with hidden, internal brackets. Although they may look delicate, these solid anchors allow the shelves to store even heavy items.

Using floating shelves instead of upper cabinets is a perfect way to display the new dishes from your wedding registry or allow quick access to your wine glasses after a long day at work.

Floating shelves fit well with design styles like modern, transitional, versatile, minimalist, contemporary, Scandinavian, and industrial. You can use floating shelves for almost any type of home decor by repainting or finishing them.

While these floating shelves are useful for lower kitchen cabinets, they are even better for upper cabinets as they allow you to see everything that may be hiding behind the top shelf. You can also find these shelves in any desired length and depth, allowing you to customize your kitchen storage.

Wall Shelves with Hooks

Anyone who loves to cook has dreamed of having a hanging rack for their copper pots and pans at some point. If you are decorating your kitchen and want to forgo upper cabinets, now is your chance to make your dreams come true.

A wall shelf is a simple yet elegant storage solution for your kitchen. You can store long cooking utensils like ladles and tongs on a wall shelf with hooks above your stove. You can also show off your collection of quirky mugs by hanging them by their handles on a wall shelf with hooks.

A wall shelf will inspire you to spend more time in your kitchen by either preparing a meal with your cooking spoons or brewing a fresh pot of coffee to fill your favorite mug. Just remember that all items hang on hooks, so the shelf should be low enough for you to easily hang and unhang the items.

Hanging Shelves

A unique way to replace upper kitchen cabinets inexpensively is to install hanging shelves. Unlike floating shelves that seem impossible to protrude from the wall, hanging shelves are hung at different levels on the same ropes. These ropes are then securely attached to the ceiling – a crucial step for their success.

Hanging shelves like this are often made from reclaimed or natural wood pieces with live edges. Holes are drilled through each piece, and thick rope is threaded through to the next shelf. A large knot is tied under each board to prevent the shelf from sliding down the rope. This method is continued for three or four shelves, giving you a completely unique open shelving system instead of your standard upper cabinet.

It’s important to note that depending on the type of hanging shelf you get, there may be some slight swaying when you bump against the shelf. It’s a good idea to hang the shelves so that the wooden back touches the wall, creating a more stable surface.

Hanging Baskets

For the ultimate style storage, hanging baskets can replace upper kitchen cabinets. If you have enough storage space in your kitchen, you can replace all upper cabinets with hanging baskets mounted at different levels.

Double-layered baskets can store less frequently used items in the higher bucket while moving your fruits and vegetables from your countertop to the hanging lower basket. If you can’t find a version of a hanging basket that you like in stores, you can easily make one inexpensively by finding these items at a local thrift store and crafting your hanging baskets.

Reclaimed Apple Crates

Some items seem to have endless possibilities for repurposing: barnwood doors, pallets, and apple crates. You can assemble apple crates to create sturdy storage, even for upper shelves in your kitchen. By attaching the bottom of the crate to the wall, the sides of the crate become surfaces to store your cups and dishes.

Apple crates can easily be repainted to match your kitchen colors or left in their original state for a rustic effect. These boxes are popular with DIYers, so you may need to visit an orchard to find them inexpensively.

Stainless Steel Shelves

Stainless steel shelves are the storage solution that was once banished to the garage and basement, only to be filled with broken tools and Tupperware containers. These shelves are now in style for versatile decor and any kitchen that prides itself on showcasing function alongside form.

You can buy 6-foot tall floor shelves made of stainless steel that provide ample storage space without taking up much physical and visual space. You can also find wall-mounted steel shelves with sleek ledges that can accommodate all your dishes and glasses. Both options are affordable solutions for upper kitchen cabinets.

Affordable Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen Cabinets

Instead of completely replacing all your cabinets, there are many ways to update

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